2016/2017 Chevy Volt - What do you think?
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    Tomfive's Avatar
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    2016/2017 Chevy Volt - What do you think?

    Wife and I have decided to buy a new/used car to replace/supplement my current daily commute car, an '02 Jetta TDI which just turned 310K. TDI is starting to rust, has been having a few mechanical issues of late, needs a new exhaust system, suspension rubbers are beginning to crack, shocks are original ... it's just beginning to show it's age. I originally wanted to buy another TDI, but when I started looking, that's when VW got into diesel trouble. We haven't looked at the Cruze diesel yet, but may take a test drive in the near future.

    So we've been looking at hybrids, and I am tending toward a plug-in hybrid. I don't want a pure EV (electric vehicle) because of charge anxiety, too much planning and if you're out of juice, there are really limited options. And we can't take it on long trips, so it could only be a commute/around town car. So I want a good electric only range vehicle with a gas back-up/extended range set-up. A lot of so-called hybrids are more gas vehicles with an electric assist, they don't have much electric only range.

    Chevy did a major change in their Volt in 2016 and here are the advantages I see:

    Electric range is touted to be over 50+ miles on a full charge.
    Gasoline generator/some mechanical assist gives 400+ mile range between fill-ups.
    My work is 31 miles each way.
    The president of my company offered to install a charge station at work if I get an electric vehicle. (Free charging while I work)
    Chevy Volt is made in USA by a USA company.
    IRS will give a $7,500 tax rebate for the Volt.

    I really like diesels, but we're just considering a change to greener transportation. Maybe someday we can charge our cars using solar panels

    Just looking for comments and opinions.
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    Tom

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    fdmars's Avatar
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    free charging....sounds like a win win to me......
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    IMHO, the technology and the "want" just ain't here yet, if it was, the government (our tax money) wouldn't need to subsidize it to sweeten the deal.

    Breakthroughs have been made in battery/power storage technology, was reading about some (carbon nanotube and others, super quick charge up and incredible storage capacity compared to present tech), but nowhere ready to hit the market yet price wise and mass production wise..............Like I said, just my humble opinion.
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    What're the other hybrid options you'd be considering? What's the price difference in the Volt and the non-hybrid version? I think hybrids and electric vehicles are going to make huge leaps in the next 10 years, but they seem to be pretty good right now. I'd consider one if I were in your situation, especially if the company is going to put in a charging station for you.
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    Tomfive's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 56FordGuy View Post
    What're the other hybrid options you'd be considering? What's the price difference in the Volt and the non-hybrid version? I think hybrids and electric vehicles are going to make huge leaps in the next 10 years, but they seem to be pretty good right now. I'd consider one if I were in your situation, especially if the company is going to put in a charging station for you.
    We just started looking/reading about the different hybrid and pure electric cars that are available. There are many available in all imaginable price ranges. I guess a Tesla with a 250 mile range would be nice, but I really can't afford/justify the $$$. Tesla is supposed to come out with a moderately priced sedan in the mid-30's but nothing is available yet, and Tesla's are pure electric. As mentioned earlier, we like the "versatility" of a hybrid, and would like a long range electric only mode. Some cars classified as "hybrids" only have a limited range as low as a few miles before the gas engine kicks in. Other "hybrids" have an electric only mode up to a certain speed, maybe great for around town but my commute is 95% highway. VP at work just got a hybrid Lexus SUV, he says the engine kicks in less that a minute after he starts driving, and the gas engine stops every time he stops moving. I didn't say anything about the wear and tear on his starter.

    Lots of info and online sites to read about electric vehicles. My current attention to the Volt was from my company's owner (the one offering to put a charging station in at work) who has a close friend with an early Volt, and his sister-in-law who owns one too. The Volt also has the longest electric only range for a plug-in hybrid, and I like the fact Chevy is a USA made/USA company.

    Just kicking the tires for now and hoping I can get a couple of test drives soon.

    I guess one of my goals is to get to work and back without burning a drop of fossil fuel.
    Last edited by Tomfive; 02-24-2016 at 09:26 PM. Reason: more info.
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    Tom

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    etcallhome's Avatar
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    With the Volt having a major overhaul , IMO no way .
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    I found this link you will be surprised what is and what is not made in the USA.
    5 Most American-Made Electric Vehicles of 2015

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    I have an 09 TDI Jetta the first one in the line of TDIs with the emissions issue.

    When we bought it we were looking at a few different vehicles. The Ford Fusion Hybrid and the Volt. While the 1st gen Volt wasn't quite out when we bought we happened to be at the FL State Fair and GM had several vehicles that you could do test drives on and one was a Volt before they were released to the dealers. Now this was a closed track (parking lot) test drive so you can't tell much but it wasn't bad. The only complaint I had was that the back seats were more of buckets than bench. There were times where we would take our two kids and a 3rd somewhere and that wouldn't work. Though now we have a Yukon that seats 7 so we would just take that. We ended up with TDI because I found a 6 speed manual and my commute isn't stop and go. While not highway either it is more county road in more of a rural-ish environment. Picture a stop sign or light every 3-4 miles. I thought the diesel would do better. It isn't bad but I am starting to look at other options. I actually was before the Diesel Gate stuff but this put me in a holding pattern to wait and see what the outcome is of the VW stuff.

    One of the vehicles on my list is the 2016 Volt. This works out well because I don't think they are available in MN yet. My commute is 27 miles each way so I would almost make it on all electric. My work doesn't have charging stations and won't add them. This was a big part of why I passed on the 1st gen. I won't do a straight electric for the same reasons you mentioned. A co-worker leased one a few years ago. He just turned it in and probably had a 3 year lease. His commute is about half mine and he would just barely make the drive to and from work. He was happy with it in the course of his lease but went with an Infinity to replace it. Another co-worker has two of them but his commute is much shorter. 7 miles each way I think and has no problems making it. His wife's commute is closer to 20 but her boss has a Tesla and put in chargers for his car and hers. So the three people I know that own or have owned them, were happy with them.

    Once they are out I will take a closer look and maybe once this TDI Stuff works it self out I will see what I will do. Who knows there are lots of rumors that VW may buy back the older 1st gen TDIs and if that happens, depending on the terms of that might dictate what direction I go. I am not pissed at VW like some people. I wouldn't mind moving up to a Passat. The kids are getting older so I am looking at more leg room for them as I am 6'4" so my seat is all the way back. If they offer a buy back or some form of sweet loyalty program I might jump in to a new Passat. If not and this blows over and the 2nd Gen Volt is out I will look at that.
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    Quote Originally Posted by etcallhome View Post
    With the Volt having a major overhaul , IMO no way .
    For what it's worth, one of my neighbors own a Ford / Mazda. Dodge / Jeep dealership and another neighbor owns a Chevy / Cadillac/ Buick / GMC Dealership. I went down to look at the Volt and it was about 15 degrees outside. The car showed 50 mile electric range and when I drove it, within 5 miles, the range was down to 38 miles on the car's computer. Obviously, the cold has a real issue on the batteries range and charged life. I asked the dealer about it and he said he had noticed the same thing. The previous Volt did the exact same thing. So I would not count on 50 miles of range year around.

    I was more curious about the car than anything, I wouldn't own a Volt as I am just too large framed for it to be comfortable. Actually, I don't see myself owning another "car" anytime soon as I really like the SUV's. I share ETcallhome's view about this newest generation of Volt until it is out for awhile.

    The charging station at work is a nice perk and the boss gets a nice tax deduction for installing it. It seems that the charging stations aren't real universal quite yet as we have a Tesla Charging station about 5 miles down the road at a strip mall right off the interstate and I rarely see anything charging there and the ONLY cars I have seen charging are Tesla's. So your boss will likely have to wait to install the charging station until you pick the specific vehicle.

    The Lexus Hybrid is a very highly regarded vehicle from people I know that have them. I have had 3 different Lexus vehicles and they were all great. My only knock on Lexus is they are too much of a "Luxury Car" for my taste. I can barely stay awake driving my LS when I had it. I also had the GS high performance model and it was more of a Sport Luxury. I prefer Mercedes Benz and that is what I drive, I like the German engineering and the road feel and handling. But my friends with the Lexus Hybrids just love them and they drive about 35 miles each way to work each day.

    A friend has a Jetta Diesel and that fricking thing gets 55mpg on the highway. Now we don't have emission testing in our state so I wouldn't hesitate to buy a new Volkswagen if I was in the market. My friend is a cardiologist and he loves the car. He was worried about the emissions and my advice to him was put all recalls related to the computer emissions control issue in the glove box and DO NOT have VW adjust any of that as it will likely hurt mileage and performance. He agreed and is just driving it like it is. When he trades it in, VW can tune it all they desire and perform the recalls at that point. But, I bet the great state of NY probably wouldn't allow us to do what I am describing as I bet they require emissions testing.

    Of the hybrid vehicles, GM seems to have tried and abandoned more systems than the other car builders. Gm had a Yukon hybrid that I don;t think they are making any longer and the same with the Escalade hybrid. There was even a Silverado hybrid at one time if I recall correctly. If I were in your shoes, I would purchase another diesel if NY will allow you to drive one with the VW issues. My friend with the Jetta Diesel took it in for an oil change and he was talking to the dealer. Needless to say, the interest in VW diesels has dried up and it sounded like he wasn't being permitted to sell new Jetta Diesels but this dealer is in Chicago.

    I have no doubt that the hybrid technology will continue to evolve and one day will be the primary source of powering new cars. Regarding Tesla's, the issue with their distribution has made getting service quite a hassle in our area. The nearest service center is 2.5 hours away and from here, you have to go through Chicago traffic to reach it, which easily adds another 1 hr each way if you time it wrong. I like the Tesla concept and their stock has made me a bundle, but I wouldn't pull the trigger on one of their cars until I have a closer service option.
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    The tech for electric vehicles just isn't there yet for me to even consider one. Plus that battery will only last so long and is expensive to replace. When you look into the carbon footprint of various vehicles, a dino oil burner is going to have a smaller foot print. Many people don't realize this. They see electric vehicle and think 0 emissions. While this is partially true for the vehicle its self once built (that electricity came from somewhere), they are actually worse one environment during the build. Anyways...

    My '12 Jetta is also apart of the Dieselgate and I'm starting to get annoyed with people asking if VW is going to buy my car back... or crush it... or... My answer is always the same, I don't give 2 sh!ts about it because VW will never see my car as long as I own it. If I found myself needing a new car, I would probably have to get a Honda Civic. It's nothing super fun to drive but when you get ~40mpg out of a decent sized gasser, it's hard to beat for a commuter.
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